Of the many debates about which freshwater gamefish tastes better, two that usually come up for comparison are crappie and bluegill. The battle over which tastes better has probably been going on for as long as people have caught both types of fish.
Keep in mind that both are panfish, so they are related in many ways. This means that the differences between them are not as defined compared to fish from different families. They both live in freshwater, they both are carnivorous, and they are quite popular with anglers.
And while your opinion is the only true factor in knowing which is better in terms of taste, it does help to understand what both fish are, how they are prepared, and what to expect in terms of taste.
Crappie Vs Bluegill Taste
Crappie is some of the most popular game fish and for good reason. Catching crappie tends to be more fun and productive compared to bluegills. But in terms of taste, you are what you eat and because the fish are carnivorous, they tend to consume a lot of protein which in turn helps to build up the muscle tissue that makes them taste good.
The advantages that crappie offer in terms of taste start with the fact that the fish itself tends to be bigger compared to the bluegill. That means more meat to consume which is always a plus. Keep in mind that crappie does have more soft meat, which means meat that is not as toned compared to bluegill and that may be the deciding factor for some.
Bluegill is known for its bluegills, along with a blue patch that identifies them differently compared to their sunfish and crappie cousins. While the diet of bluegills and crappie are similar, bluegills tend to eat more insects compared to crappie which focuses on smaller fish and even their own young.
It is true that bluegill is thinner compared to crappie, but they have less soft meat and tend to be flakier. Because they have less soft meat, the muscle tends to be firmer as well which helps improve the taste. In addition, because their feeding habits are somewhat different, bluegill tends to be more difficult to catch and that may sway some people in terms of taste. Either because they eat far more crappie which is more fun to catch or they savor the rarer bluegill.
While everyone has their favorite, it’s probably true that bluegill does taste just a little better compared to crappie. While the difference is not much, the deciding factor is that crappie has some softer meat compared to bluegill which some have found rather bland.
Bluegill tends to be fresher, firmer, and flakier compared to crappie, which makes it the winner among most fish experts or at least those who enjoy both crappie and bluegill. However, this does not mean that crappie is far behind in terms of taste. After all, both are called panfish for a very good reason. When fried, the taste is some of the best that you will find from freshwater fish in North America.